What Happens If Your Adjustment Of Status Is Denied?

Becoming a permanent resident in the United States can be challenging. One of the most critical steps is the Adjustment of Status (AOS) process. When applying for AOS, a person seeks to change their status to an LPR or lawful permanent resident. However, what happens when this application is denied? Understand the implications and the possible reasons for this setback.

Explore the intricacies of adjusting your status, covering eligibility, the application process, and strategies for dealing with rejections. Learn why an immigration attorney is crucial for a smooth journey to permanent residency.

Immigration Law Firm In Austin Offers Help Through The Adjustment Of Status Process

Implications Of A Denied Adjustment Of Status Application

The impact of a denied AOS application goes beyond immediate disappointment and disrupted plans. It significantly affects those aiming for permanent residency. Learn the various effects of such rejection, highlighting why applicants must be informed and prepared to navigate the consequences.

Impact On Current Status

A key concern after a denial is its impact on the applicant’s immigration status, especially for those on a non-immigrant visa nearing expiration. Without a pending application, they risk accruing unlawful presence, leading to severe penalties like potential re-entry bans to the United States.

Family Separation

For those who applied for AOS based on family relationships, a denial can have the heartbreaking implication of family separation. This is especially true in cases where other family members have secured or are in the process of securing their residency. It can leave loved ones in limbo and potentially split families across international borders.

Work Authorization And Access To Benefits

Many applicants benefit from work authorization while their applications are pending. A denial could mean the loss of legal permission to work. This can affect an individual’s livelihood and ability to support themselves and their families. Additionally, access to benefits like employment-based healthcare or state-specific resident benefits may be at risk.

Long-Term Implications And Re-Entry Challenges

A rejected application can have lasting consequences on future attempts to enter or reside in the United States. This may lead to more scrutiny in future visa or immigration applications. In some cases, there could be a formal finding of inadmissibility. This would be due to the reasons behind the denial, such as misrepresentation, security concerns, or public charge grounds. These challenges may hinder or block future entry, impacting long-term goals.

After examining the potential consequences of a denied application, understanding the root causes behind such setbacks becomes crucial. Discover the common reasons for denial, focusing on preventable errors and key factors applicants should consider.

Common Reasons For AOS Denial

Delve into the common reasons for denials. Learn about issues like incomplete applications, eligibility misunderstandings, and legal problems. All of which can block the path to residency. Knowing these pitfalls is vital and helps applicants smooth their path to achieving their American dream.

Incomplete Applications Or Incorrect Information

A surprisingly common reason for denials is the submission of incomplete applications or applications that contain incorrect information. This can include missing forms, insufficient evidence, or failure to provide necessary personal documentation. Even minor oversights, such as not signing a form or neglecting to include a required fee, can result in a denial.

Eligibility Issues

Eligibility issues can arise from failing to meet visa category requirements. They can also stem from immigration history problems. Examples include prior overstays, unauthorized employment, or illegal entry into the United States. In some cases, applicants may need to realize that specific past actions or situations disqualify them from adjusting their status.

Security And Health Grounds

Security and health considerations play a vital role in evaluating immigration applications. They serve as fundamental criteria to safeguard national security and public health within the United States.

Applications can face rejection if the applicant has connections to organizations that raise security concerns. Such ties might involve groups known for extremist activities or those under scrutiny for actions against the United States’ interests. The aim is to prevent individuals threatening national security from gaining entry or permanent residency.

On the health front, applications can lead to denials for several reasons:

  • Missing vaccinations.
  • The presence of communicable diseases.
  • Physical or mental disorders that exhibit harmful behavior or have the potential for harmful behavior.

These health and security criteria protect public well-being. They also prevent immigrants from overburdening the healthcare system. The United States seeks to keep a secure and healthy environment for everyone by upholding these standards.

Failure To Prove The Bona Fide Nature Of A Marital Relationship

Applicants married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident must prove their marriage is genuine. The USCIS scrutinizes these applications to deter immigration fraud. Applicants must provide substantial evidence that their marriage is legitimate and not entered into to obtain immigration benefits. This can include joint financial records, photographs, correspondence, and testimonies from friends and family. Failure to convince the USCIS of the marriage’s authenticity can result in a denial.

Public Charge Concerns

Another common reason is the public charge ground of inadmissibility. This decision checks if an applicant looks like they will rely on government aid for living expenses or long-term care. Current guidelines direct USCIS officers to evaluate several factors. These include the applicant’s age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, education, and skills. Officers use these to decide if someone might become a public charge.

Considering the next steps in your journey toward U.S. residency is crucial. Explore the options available after a rejection. Outline strategies for appeal and reapplication, and learn how to strengthen your future applications.

Options You Can Take After An AOS Denial

A denied application can significantly hinder your journey toward making the United States a permanent home. However, this does not mark the end of the road. You can take several proactive steps to address the setback and continue pursuing the dream of living in the country legally and permanently. Learn more about the avenues available after a rejected application.

Identify The Reason For Denial

The first key step after a rejection is to determine the reason by checking the detailed notice from USCIS. This helps you know whether the issue was something simple like missing documents or more complex like eligibility concerns. It allows you to fix these problems for future applications or appeals.

Appeal The Decision Or File A Motion

After discovering why your application was denied, you can file an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) for review. This is crucial if you believe the decision was unjust based on the evidence and law.

Alternatively, you can present new evidence or argue that the law was misapplied by filing a motion with USCIS. Both paths are complex, but you can significantly benefit from an immigration lawyer’s experience and advice to boost your chances of success.

Reapply For AOS

Reapply for AOS if your situation improves or you have new evidence not included in the original application. For instance, a new job offer might overcome a previous rejection related to a work visa. Starting over lets you address past issues. You can also use the USCIS feedback to strengthen a new application with better documentation and clearer proof of eligibility.

It’s important to act quickly and wisely, whether appealing or reapplying, due to strict deadlines and the impact on your legal status. An immigration lawyer can help applicants navigate these steps effectively and improve their chances of success.

Immigration Attorney In Austin Explains Why An Application For Adjustment Of Status Could Be Denied

Seek The Assistance Of An Immigration Lawyer

Facing a denial may seem daunting, yet navigating these complexities becomes more manageable with talented legal support. Immigration law is intricate and ever-evolving. It necessitates an adept hand to guide an applicant through the maze of regulations and requirements.

An experienced lawyer for immigration can make the process easier. They can give clear advice on qualifications, paperwork, and dealing with problems like inadmissibility or past criminal records.

Partnering with a knowledgeable lawyer from Lincoln-Goldfinch Law significantly lowers the risk of application mistakes. It enhances the chances of success and offers peace of mind by meticulously handling every application detail. Their seasoned visa lawyers are ready to professionally guide you through the immigration journey, adeptly handling challenging cases.

Opting for their assistance means having a dedicated ally, ensuring each step taken is informed and strategic. With their support, a person can confidently navigate their path to United States residency. They can turn obstacles into opportunities for success.


Achieving permanent residency in the United States is challenging, especially if a person faces an AOS denial. Understanding why an application was denied is crucial, whether due to incomplete paperwork, eligibility problems, or issues proving a genuine relationship.

Knowing these reasons can help applicants appeal, reapply, and prevent future rejection. Since immigration law is complex, getting help from an immigration lawyer can significantly improve their chances of success. An immigration attorney can guide applicants through appeals and reapplications. They offer strategic advice and firm support, helping applicants get closer to residency.

Get Help From An U.S Immigration Attorney

    How To Find Us

    Austin Office
    Lincoln-Goldfinch Law

    1005 E 40th St
    Austin, TX 78751

    Waco Office

    Lincoln-Goldfinch Law

    1616 Austin Avenue, Suite A
    Waco, TX 76701
    By Appointment Only

    Austin & Waco

    Call or Text: (855) 502-0555
    Fax: (512) 323-9351